And People are Surprised by Hamsher Why?

World, she put a picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface up at Huffington Post, because it was more important to her to score political points against Lieberman than it was to not be an enormous asshole towards people who weren’t even involved in her little spat.

Her judgment has been obviously suspect and her motivations obviously fucked up since then.

So why, again, is her recent behavior so shocking? How is this not just more of the same?

22 thoughts on “And People are Surprised by Hamsher Why?

  1. I’m kind of pissed off that this went from a debate about the merits of the Senate bill to a referendum on Jane Hamsher’s devotion to the cause. It is quite literally the stupidest thing we could be doing right now. Norquist gets exactly what he wants no matter how this turns out.

  2. I disagree. I’m with Jane Hamsher on this one, to a degree. The argument that Norquist and the Republicans have any major say in the Democratic Party’s political fortunes is weak at best. The Dems have the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress. If people like Norquist continue to have influence, it’s primarily because the party that claims to represent the people over concentrated wealth keeps selling out the people in favor of concentrated wealth.

    The Republicans are clearly standing their ground and forcing the Democrats to either put up or shut up. It isn’t a bad strategy, considering that a large percentage of Dems have proven that they will do nothing that doesn’t take care of their johns in the insurance industry. The current bill is a monster that doesn’t take one tiny step in the direction of knocking insurance companies out of primacy in the health care equation. It arguably strengthens their hand (which might explain why insurer stocks went up recently). The Democrats must choose between the health care profiteers and their citizens who aren’t major shareholders or CEOs. When the smoke clears, and this bill reaps the expected political backlash, the Dems will have no one to blame but themselves.

    I applaud Hamsher for going off the chain with indignation over being handed a shit sandwich by the Democrats. Instead of getting pissed at her, maybe you should get pissed at the ones who are giving you the shit sandwich and telling you it’s gourmet.

  3. Sam, I must not have been clear enough.

    I think fighting over Jane Hamsher is the stupidest thing we could be doing right now. If we’re going to fight over something, let it be our sincere differences about policy and not some monkey bullshit about who should or should not be a member of the liberal/progressive tribe.

    In other words, I agree with you.

  4. Sorry, River, I wasn’t responding to you. I was more responding to the article to which B. linked. Sorry for not being more clear. As to your comments, I agree wholeheartedly.

  5. It’s just the next logical step from dividing the party up between fake and real. Don’t try and force the party to be something it’s not; a far left organization. Instead, start fighting for proportional representation in our government. Oh, but that don’t get no blog hits.

  6. “Far left.” I guess that includes the majority of the country that wants some kind of public option at least, if not single payer.

    It isn’t about fake and real. It’s about getting representation that actually represents you. Right now there’s precious little of that, and I don’t fault Jane Hamsher for making a theatrical attempt at shedding light on the status quo.

  7. I think that’s a weird thing anyway. What’s wrong with wanting blog hits? Writers, even bloggers, want to be read. That’s what Hamsher wants, at the end of the day–to be read and to have her ideas taken seriously. So it’s okay for her but not for others? I don’t buy that. It’s how blogging works. It’s not some kind of sell-out or a mark of inautheticness to want to be read.

    It’s also not far left to insist that the people who want to march at the front of our parade don’t do so at the expense of the rest of us.

  8. Jane does not have to worry about blog hits. She’s taking a risk, to be sure, but it’s because the President and the Democrats in Congress have come up WEAK with this supposed reform package.

    If the House bill gets rolled and the Senate version prevails, we are all getting shit sandwiches in our stockings, while being told by the DC crowd that it’s bratwurst, that it’s the best we deserve, and to STFU.

    Jane’s doing what she believes has to be done. If you don’t hold a gun to their head (metaphorically) at every point, they will sell you out every time.

  9. Thank you! Now I don’t have to do a Jane Hamsher post.

    I think it’s more than “blog hits.” She’s got this AccountabilityNow PAC. I think she wants donations. She’s boosting her profile and her far-left bonafides to get her PAC established as a political force.

    She can do and say what she wants but when I read about “RINO hunters” Rand Paul and Marsha Blackburn and then I see Jane Hamsher doing the same thing on the left, excuse me for being uncomfortable with that. I don’t see it working well for the Republican Party and I don’t think it will work for the Democrats, either.

    And while I’m not happy when Democrats don’t act like Democrats, I would prefer we come up with a different strategy instead of splintering the left into a million pieces and acting like thugs. I mean come on: when you put a target on Bernie Sanders’ back you’ve gone off the deep end.

  10. Hey, this is autoegocrat, by the way. I’m posting under this name because a) Tiny Cat Pants uses WordPress logins and b) I need an admin login for my own blog. So it’s just easier like this.

  11. Southern Beale, I keep reading variations of that phrase: ‘Democrats who don’t act like Democrats.’

    What does that mean? Is there some way a Democrat is expected to act? Maybe Gandalf’s O’Reilly-esque characterization is more accurate than I thought. Maybe the bulk of the Democratic Party has been pulled so far into corporatism and conservatism that economic populism may as well be Maoism.

    Maybe it’s time for voters to open up other options. If you’re going to get screwed, why do it to yourself? If there isn’t a Democrat on the ballot who’s going to look out for you, vote for a Green or write in a Dem who suits you. As long as you allow a party that’s catering to very narrow interests (not your own) pull you by the nose, you’ll never get any change. It’s easy to pick on Hamsher and denigrate her tactics, but what good has talking friendly and playing nice done anyone?

  12. Is there some way a Democrat is expected to act?

    Well ostensibly they should adhere to the Democratic Party platform and Democratic principles.

    Far be it from me to tell anyone how to vote but in general I do not vote third party because you are throwing away your vote. That’s just reality. It’s up to every person to decide for themselves if they prefer to cast a principled, though wasted, vote, or hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.

    The Republican Party wasn’t always this fringe, reactionary right-wing group of people. But they got taken over by the extremists, who began nurturing candidates at the local level. They fielded candidates for school board, dog catcher, you name it, and brought them up throgh city, county and state offices. And then they learned how to package themselves with a strong message and got a media megaphone via talk radio and Fox News.

    But I do think they’ve gone too far and have alienated a large chunk of the American public. What was the last figure we read? 26% self-identify as Republicans? Something like that? They went too far.

    Progressives need to field their own candidates at the local level and nurture them on up through the ranks. I look at who is out there to take over form say, Bart Gordon … there’s no one. We’ve got opportunities to field progressives all around the country but we aren’t ready.

  13. …I do not vote third party because you are throwing away your vote.

    I would definitely classify this with other meaningless excuses for effective inertia like ‘the perfect being the enemy of the good’.
    If you elect candidates who don’t live up to the promise you project onto them, then you are also ‘throwing away your vote.’
    I vote for the candidate who best embodies my values and desires, period. I can’t help it if the majority of voters has allowed themselves to be triangulated into a very narrow set of choices.
    Also, don’t underestimate two major factors that are key to the rise of the reactionary Republicans: first, they are well-funded. Let’s face it: filthy rich people who make their money exploiting their fellow humans aren’t going to pour their ill-gotten gains into progressive, egalitarian causes and movements. Second, the GOP’s racist, nitwit populism works because there’s no well-organized opposition, and no major party willing to look out for the interests of working people. Somewhere in the process of the Democrats losing the racist and social conservative base, they learned that they could take the remainder (gays, women, minorities, Dirty Fucking Hippies, etc.) for granted in favor of pursuing the corporate dollar.

    Continuing to give your vote to a party that knows it can repeatedly kick you in the teeth is not going to get you anything but diminishing returns. Trying to push progressive candidates into a party machine that has little use for them is a fool’s errand. It’s time for the electorate to either grow up and embrace parliamentary politics or watch what’s left of the republic collapse. I’m betting that the latter is what we’re facing.

  14. I’ve been following this pie fight for quite some time now. All I know is, Grover Norquist and Phyllis Schlafly are not my allies, and I don’t give a shit what the issue is. You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas (unless it’s Mrs. Wigglebottom, of course).

  15. Ha, sadly, even with Mrs. Wigglebottom, if she has fleas, they will get on you.

    I think, though, that you’ve hit on something I hadn’t quite articulated, even to myself. I don’t really give a shit if Hamsher is a good person or has good motivations or is a good Democrat or if she switches sides or whatever. I give a shit that she uses really strange and reprehensible tactics and everyone else is constantly surprised by this.

    If she’s a loose cannon, fine, she’s a loose cannon. But let’s just know that instead of being all “Oh my god, yet again, Jane does something sketchy sure to alienate people. How could this happen?!”

  16. How do we judge who are the ‘dogs’? Is it by results, or only by style points? ‘Cause I’m thinking there are some people walking around here with fleas who don’t seem to think they are.

  17. Oh I don’t know, if you say things like “Sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for virtuous women” and “Sex education classes are like in-home sales parties for abortions” (Schlafly) or help embezzle money for Jack Abramoff (Norquist), in my mind that does make you a bit of a dog.

  18. I agree, GoldnI. It’s easy to pick out the dogs that are barking mad and foaming at the mouth. In fact, I prefer them; I know to avoid them. The worst dogs are the ones who sit and pant and wag their tails excitedly while you face them, then take a chunk of flesh out of your ass as soon as you turn your back.

    Those dogs are Democrats: they play nice when it’s time to get elected, and they emit a perfunctory growl of outrage when the Republican dogs say and do outrageous things. When it comes time to make policy, though, the Democratic dogs leap to the silent call of their corporate masters. They give you just enough so that they look a little bit friendlier than the Republican dogs, but in the end you’re standing there bleeding and hurting with an eighth of your ass missing instead of maybe the quarter or the half that the Republican dog might have devoured. And you’ve got fleas.

  19. But no one has yet explained how lying down with far-right dogs helps us get rid of the fleas from the Democratic ones. To me that’s just a recipe for getting even more fleas.

  20. If those are my only two options, I’d rather have a few fleas, and have the dogs fighting tearing at each other, than to be flea-free and have them tearing at me. Since supporting third parties (and avoiding dogs altogether) isn’t taken seriously by far too many, I’d say it’s hard to argue with as a tactic.

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